HIV PEP or post- exposure prophylaxis is a means of taking the antiretroviral medicine after you have been potentially exposed from HIV infections to prevent certain infections. It is only for emergency situations and should start within seventy- two hours of being possibly exposed from HIV. However, PEP is not for curing your already acquired infections, because it’s only purpose is to prevent HIV infections from entering your body.
When is PEP being recommended?
- Receptive anal sex – it is highly recommended if you had a receptive anal sex with someone whom an HIV positive or from a man who had sex with another man. The exception for this, is when the person whom you shared sexual contact is known to be under HIV treatment and have a viral load that is undetectable.
- Insertive anal sex – PEP is also recommended once you had an insertive anal sex from a person who’s known as an HIV positive.
- Vaginal sex – it is recommended to women who had a vaginal sex from a man that is known as an HIV positive. It can also be considered for a man who had a vaginal sex from a woman that is known as an HIV positive.
- Non- sterile injection equipment – if you are using injected equipment that is previously been used by a person who is known as an HIV positive, then you will need to take the PEP method.
Aside from that, PEP is also applicable once you give an oral sex to someone that is known as an HIV positive. However, it is not recommended for other cases like cunnilingus, human bites and semen splashes on your skin.
Does PEP work?
PEP is considered as an effective way to prevent HIV infections, when you are taking it correctly. But then, it is not totally 100% effective. Once you start taking PEP immediately after exposure, the better the result that you can get. When you are using PEP, it is still important to use condoms when you are having sexual intercourse and a continuous safe practice of drug injection.
Other things that you needed to consider
Relying on PEP is not the best way to prevent possible infections when you are continuously having an unprotected sex and sharing some injection equipment. Associating condoms is a great choice to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted disease. PEP can’t stop you from getting other infections even you are still taking it.
If you’re a woman and you had sex with someone without using condom or other contraception, there’s a possibility that you can easily get pregnant. So, it is also a need to use other forms of contraception to prevent this issue, but make sure to ask your doctor when you are still using PEP. PEP drugs may interact with the other forms of medicines that you are taking. With the possible drugs interaction, it is very important that you are giving these details with your doctor to know the possible effects and outcomes.